A recent article in the New York Times explores why successful tech companies are mostly founded by middle-aged entrepreneurs based on a study being published in the journal American Economic Review: Insights. The research was conducted by economists at M.I.T., Northwestern, the University of Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Census Bureau. (Note: While the NYTimes headline uses the word “Tech,” the word is not mentioned in the story.)


See also on SmallBusiness.com | Encore entrepreneurs who made starting businesses their retirement “hobby.”


The researchers examined “high growth” start-ups established between 2007 and 2014 and analyzed the top 0.1 percent — defined as those with the fastest growth in employment and sales.

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Using data anonymized data of 2.7 million business founders, the researchers calculated that the founders’ average age was 42. And for the founders of the 0.1 percent fastest-growing firms, the average age was 45. Firms that were successful enough to have an initial public offering or be acquired by a larger company showed the same pattern: Their founders were generally middle-aged.

The research suggests that entrepreneurial success isn’t just a function of raw intelligence and a propensity for risk-taking. It depends on a variety of ingredients, many of which appear to improve with age.


See more in the NYTimes.com article, “Founders of Successful Tech Companies are Mostly Middle Aged”

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